A raja hunting wild boars, design for a scabbard

Artist: Attributed to Shevdar Gangeyagi (active 1740-1770)
Historical period(s)
ca. 1750-1760
Kota school
Opaque watercolor on paper
H x W (overall): 48.9 × 14.6 cm (19 1/4 × 5 3/4 in)
India, Rajasthan state, Kota
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


bear, hunting, India, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection

To 1967
Sri Ram Gopal Vijaivargia, Jaipur [1]

From 1967 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Sri Ram Gopal Vijaivargia, Jaipur in December 1967 [2]

From 1967 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Sri Ram Gopal Vijaivargia, Jaipur in December 1967 [2]

From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim


1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the drawing from Ram Gopal Vijaivargia, Jaipur in December 1967, several years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to his personal records, as relayed by Catherine Glynn Benkaim.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Sri Ram Gopal Vijaivargia
Catherine Glynn Benkaim
Ralph and Catherine Benkaim


This is a preparatory drawing for a sword sheath that was meant to be embroidered, tooled in leather or painted. An artist cleverly exploited the format by creating a vertical landscape of rocky gorges. His energetic line emphasizes movement, action and volume, apparent especially in the the massing of parallel lines indicating the bears' long fur and the the folds of the hunters' garments. The encounters are varied and dramatic.

Royal hunts were symbolically important expressions of kingship within the Ancient Near East, Persia and India. Beginning around 1660, artists in Kota began creating extraordinary images of rulers hunting game, which through to the mid-eighteenth century deployed calligraphic contour lines to render animals with great vivacity in highly textured landscapes. This preparatory drawing is characteristic of the Kota style of drawing.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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